Morristown, N.J. (October 2, 2015) – Senior Lissel-Thalia Devetori from Frankford, N.J., knew from the age of ten that she wanted to be in front of a camera. Not to act, but to deliver the news as a broadcast journalist. In spite of family members telling her that the business was too competitive and that she should consider medicine or education, she knew that being in the thick of the fourth estate was her niche.
She studies Communication and Global Studies with minors in Journalism and Political Science to prepare her for this career goal. Yet she knew that even as an excellent student in the classroom, she would need some practical experience to add to her resume.
During the fall semester, after several offers from different stations, she is interning for the public radio station WNYC in Manhattan. She applied for all the positions the station had to offer and is working in the development office doing prospect research for major gifts.
The station encourages their interns to explore all the workings of the broadcast field and she has access to the program hosts and their staff, as well as learning the business end through the development office. While she is applying for other internships for the spring 2016 semester, she is considering staying with WNYC.
Lissel sought out internships for the summer of 2015 with little success. She knew she wanted to work in New York City, but the only media group that expressed an interest was located in New Jersey.
"I saw an ad for internships on iHeartMedia and sent in my resume," she recalls. "Even though I did not have broadcast experience, I was hired on the spot and started almost immediately." After a long time of few responses, suddenly she had a summer job.
Her time at Power 105, a member of the iHeartMedia family, gave her the opportunity to see the world of radio broadcasting up close. She did artist prep – which is finding out about artists through the use of social media and personal histories – so the radio hosts were prepared with questions for their guests. She blogged stories for the radio website and was able to sit in the production booth to learn the equipment. A bonus to her internship was meeting a number of music celebrities, all of whom she described as "very nice, not always like their public personas."
Lissel is very positive about her future, especially now that she has broadcast experience under her belt. She also improved personal skills such as assertiveness. While she still wants to pursue television broadcasting, she also has her eye on a master's degree at either Columbia, New York University, Syracuse, UMass, Boston College or Harvard.
"I love CSE because it is a quiet campus where I have learned the discipline of putting my academics first," she says.
She is a student ambassador and is starting two capstone projects; one for Global Studies and one for Communication.
"Internships are so important to gain the practical experience we need to be competitive," she says.
When asked about the best way to pursue internships, she offers, "Do research about the company in advance to know about what they do, be professional, and rehearse questions and answers. And if a company turns you down for one semester, apply again. You will get what you're looking in the second or third time around.